Californians powered by the sun

BLYTHE, CALIFORNIA - More than 15,000 consumers in California will get their energy from a 21-megawatt solar power plant, the largest in the country, developers said.

First Solar and NRG Energy said they started commercial operations at the 21-MW solar power facility in Blythe, California.

NRG said at peak capacity, the solar farm will meet the energy needs of 17,000 California homes. The solar electricity from the facility is purchased by utility Southern California Edison under the terms of a 20-year purchase agreement.

"Solar is the great untapped resource in California and we are pleased to be part of this significant milestone for solar development in our state," said Marc Ulrich, a vice president for renewable energy at SCE.

The photovoltaic panels developed by First Solar provide sustainable energy while avoiding the release of more than 12,000 tons of harmful emissions. That is roughly equal to removing 2,200 vehicles from California roads.

The Blythe solar farm is the largest photovoltaic project in the United States, NRG Energy said.



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